THOUSANDS of pounds has been stolen and damaged in a “sickening” late night burglary at a church.

Totton Spiritualist Church lost more than £2,000 in gold and money raised for a homeless charity.

Intruders damaged two windows, broke the back door of the church and stole the safe which contained the gold and cash.

The damage caused is estimated to cost more than £4,000, say the church.

Church president Sarah Challis-Judd said: “It’s bad enough for us losing money belonging to a church but to lose money for homeless people is even more sickening.

“They have taken every penny we had in the church plus done a lot of damage as they have came through the back door which is a fire exit door and busted the whole door, they have also broken two windows in the church.

“With the damage and loss it could possibly mean it will shut us down.”


The gold stolen was being collected as a new way to raise church funds.

Church members had also raised hundreds for a local homeless charity and food bank.

One local resident and former neighbour of the church has set up a fundraising page to prevent closure.

Sara Dixey, who lived on Rumbridge Street next to the church until six months ago, said: “I’ve watched how this spate of crime [in Totton] has gone out the roof over the past 12-18 months.

“It’s shocking, and it’s disgusting that people could target a church.

“The aim is to raise the money that was taken from them.


“Regardless of whether the money was charity collected for furniture, supplies, for the needy or for the rent of the building, it wasn’t the thugs money to take.”

The incident, which happened on Sunday night of last week, follows the burglary of a Totton charity shop last month.

Barnardo’s on Commercial Road had £50 cash, £156.51 of their takings from the previous day and a charity box stolen in a burglary on December 27.